Minnesota Victims

I am looking for victims of internet crimes in Minnesota who would be willing to share their story with City Pages.  If you do not want your name printed, they are willing to respect that.

If you are a victim of any type of internet crime, I encourage you to come forward and share your story.  I know it is not easy . . . I am a scam victim also . . . but I do know how rewarding it is to know that you have helped save others from being a scam victim because your story gave them the information to protect themselves.

If you are interested, you can contact me through http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

Victims – Tell your story!

I will OFTEN get requests from media people for victims to share their story (on radio, tv or in print).  If you are a victim who would be willing to share your story, please contact me via email with your name, state you live in, and the type of scam you were a victim of (counterfeit check, romance, roommate, credit card fraud, 419, ID theft, etc.)

This can be a wonderful way for you to share your story and help to warn and educate other people about scams!

Consumer Alert – Housing Scam

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/july09/housingscam_072909.html

In this consumer alert by the FBI, they look at what we refer to as Roommate or Renter Scams.  We have been reporting stories of Roommate/Renter Scams since 2005.  Many victims are sent cashier’s checks as a deposit on a room/space they are renting, and it will either be for more than the agreed upon amount, or the renter will later back out of the deal completely and ask for the money to be wired back to them.
 
Remember, it takes an average of 7 to 10 business days for the bank to find out that the check is counterfeit, and in some cases we have seen it take months.  No matter how long it takes, once it comes back as counterfeit the bank will hold you liable for the entire amount of the check, even if they had already told you that it was “clear” or “verified”.  Never wire money to someone that sent you a cashier’s check or money order.  That is a clear sign of a scam.
 
Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through
http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch

Internet Crime On The Rise

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released it’s 2008 Internet Crime Report today.  You can view report in full by going to http://www.fbi.gov/page2/march09/internet_033009.html

There was a 33% increase in complaints in 2008 over 2007, with an increase of $25 million lost.  Just think, if more could have been done to educate people about scams and warn them before they became victims, that is money that those people would still have in their pockets.

With the economy in the state that it is, we need to do EVERYTHING we can to protect the money that we have.  One way to do that would be to increase scam awareness with signs in the post offices, banks, Western Union and MoneyGram locations.  PSA would also do a lot to get the word out to the masses.

Is this a scam?

I have been sent thousands of emails over the years, where people ask me if I think that it is a scam or not.  
If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, then the situation that you are involved in is a scam!

Did you receive the check/money order from selling an item online, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc.?
Is the amount of the check/money order more that the item’s selling price?
Did you receive the check/money order via an overnight delivery service (not the US postal system)?
Is the check drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
Have you been informed that you have won a lottery in another country?
Have you been instructed to wire, send or ship money as soon as possible?
Have you been asked to pay money to receive a deposit from another country?
Are you receiving pay or commission for facititating money transfers through your account?
Did you respond to an email requesting you to confirm, update or provide bank or credit card account information?
Are you sending/wiring money to someone that you met on the internet, never in person, who needs your help to get through hard times (relative died, someone is in the hospital, etc.) and they promise to pay you back as soon as they can?

Some of the popular scams out there now are
Romance/Dating scam, so do not wire money to anyone that you have met on an internet dating site
Roommate Scams, so do not wire money to anyone sends you a check/money order for rent fees
Secret Shopper Scams, so do not wire money to anyone claiming to be giving you a job as a secret shopper
Lottery Scams, so do not wire any money to people claiming you have won money
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